Bound for French Polynesia
No, the title isn’t another reference to the biological attributes of Galapagos animals. We are about to leave Santa Cruz for French Polynesia. It’s our longest voyage yet, at 3000 miles. And we expect to arrive in the Marquesas in approximately three weeks.
We have already cleared out of the country. That process involved a trip to Immigration to get our passports stamped, followed by a visit onboard Lady Jane from an anti-narcotics police officer and a hard-looking bloke from the military. The policeman asked if we had any drugs or cigarettes, but I had nothing to offer. And the military guy asked the same questions about flares and safety equipment that we had already covered when we entered the Galapagos in San Cristobal. Fortunately, it didn’t take long. Less than half an hour later they were off the boat and we had our Zarpe for the Marquesas.
So, now we are cleared out, we have to go. And as we are planning to leave in a few minutes, this post is necessarily brief:
Santa Cruz is very different from the previous Galapagos Islands we have visited. It has more tourists than you can shake a leaflet at, and there are restaurants and hotels everywhere. They even close one of the streets at night and turn it into a giant open-air food court. It’s quite impressive. And there are several shops and supermarkets with a reasonable selection of food.
So, this stop has been less about sightseeing for the crew of Lady Jane and more about stuffing our faces and getting more provisions – especially fresh fruit and veg – before setting sail. We also said farewell and fair winds to Craig and crew on Hullabaloo who are also crossing the Pacific. And most of our food and drink based adventures ashore have been in the great company of our JaJapami friends, which resulted in photographs like this:
Good times aside – here’s an observation about the Puerto Ayora anchorage: Spending time onboard JaJapami (a catamaran) is analogous to enjoying classical music in the park, sipping tea from china cups. On Lady Jane (a monohull), it’s like being thrown in the mosh pit at a 1970’s punk concert and occasionally being clobbered over the head with a beer bottle.
This anchorage is the worst one we have spent any time in since leaving England. We have rolled every night since getting here, and it’s impossible to sleep all the way through. Our eyes look like we have stepped out of the ring after a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson. So we are looking forward to the relative comfort of sailing the Pacific – and getting some sleep.
We are expecting good trade winds most of the way to the Marquesas, and are hoping that it will be as good as our Atlantic crossing. But given our recent luck with computers, I’m not going to attempt to post anything before we arrive in there. Our tracker will be active though, and our position should be updated on our tracking page every few hours.